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Virginia 26, Florida 19, Sandy 18, Washington 14, Romney 12, Us 8, Fema 6, New York City 6, Orlando 5, New Jersey 5, Clarence 4, Delaware 4, Obama 4, D.c. 4, Chuck 4, Minnesota 4, Bill Clinton 3, Chuck Todd 3, Kim 3, Debbie Wassermann Schultz 3,
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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    News/Business. The day's  
   top political stories. New.  

    October 29, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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national treasure. and it's the one thing -- >> i think you're right. >> no matter where you are, do not mess with -mile-an-hour winds. just don't even go there. >> stay inside. and you know, willie, you're exactly right. being a florida guy, a lot of times these things are overhyped. but i don't think this one is. and stay inside. >> we can only hope. >> be safe. check on your parents, your grandparents, and be careful out there. willie, if it's "way too early," what time is it? >> it's "morning joe." stick around on msnbc all day long for coverage of hurricane sandy. right now chuck todd. >> welcome to special coverage. the east coast braces for impact. hurricane sandy churns north, building steam and causing massive preparation and preemptive closings of schools, businesses and rail lines from washington to new york city. the very serious storm is causing major changes for presidential campaign plans. with just eight days to go, what does it mean for early voting?
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governor romney's recent momentum and president obama's chance to look presidential in this final week. one state already feeling the direct effect of the storm is right here just outside of us in virginia today. we're breaking down the recent success for democrats in the old dominion and what are the president's chances to do it again? good morning from a very rainy washington. it's monday, october 29th, 2012. this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd. let's get right to my first reads of the morning. and it's this. a massive category 1 storm, but it's a large one. and it's bearing down on the east coast just eight days before the election. nearly 60 million people are in hurricane sandy's path one way or the other. and it stretches more than 800 miles from north carolina to maine. and as sandy barrels towards the east coast, it is already bringing heavy rainfall and sustained winds up to 85 miles an hour. now, it's not just wind and rain. as much as three feet of snow is forecast in parts of west
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virginia. officials estimate repairing the damage for all of these states could cost billions. that's plural. hundreds of thousands of people from maryland to connecticut have been ordered to evacuate low-lying coastal areas including 375,000 in new york city, 50,000 in delaware, 30,000 in atlantic city. transit systems in new york city and washington, d.c., have been shut down. the federal government is closed. the new york stock exchange is closed. for weather today for the first time in 27 years. and for the very latest on the hurricane's path, let's go right to what mark halperin just described as a national treasure right now, bill karins, our nbc news meteorologist. all right, bill, walk us through -- i know you were saying earlier the storm's taken a little more of a left turn than what was forecast about three hours ago. >> yeah. it's very slight, but it makes a big difference especially for atlantic city, new jersey, long beach island, central jersey. if the storm went right over you, your storm surge would have been less. if it goes south down by
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wildwood, that means your damage will multiply times worse. let me take you through the time line here. we just made it through our first high tide cycle. we've had major damage up and down the eastern seaboard. now we're headed towards the low tide. the water shouldn't rise any more. so the next event we're watching during the daylight hours is this. this orange cone here, those are the tropical storm-force wind gusts. they have now moved into southern new england, connecticut, rhode island, new york city who just gusted to 51 miles per hour. all of the coastal areas pretty much to the east of i-95. now, the next thing we're going to watch is that that's the hurricane-force gusts, that darker red. when that comes on shore, power outages will just start to fly. we will start to see trees coming down. notice the timing, 8:00 p.m. as we head towards landfall, long island, new york city, philadelphia, baltimore, d.c., all of maryland in the eastern half, delaware included, that is when we will see the worst wind damage as far as the trees. that's when millions of people will be losing power as you're
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trying to get the kids to bed this evening and yourselves, if you do get to bed before your power goes off, odds are when you wake up, you probably won't have it. then the storm begins to slowly weaken. this is 4:00 a.m. we've still got hurricane-force gusts in a huge area. so the long-duration stall over philadelphia is just going to weaken the trees with the rain. and that's just going to cause additional problems. here's the gusts currently. i mentioned we're seeing pretty strong gusts from jfk to islip out towards even new haven getting up to tropical storm-force gusts. these are going to get worse throughout the day. now is the time to hunker down in this region. do not get in your car. don't go outside. just ride this one out till tuesday afternoon. chuck todd was mentioning the heavy rain bands over i-95. don't get caught on the roads. we're going to start to see flash flooding issues in maryland, especially delaware and down towards dover where you've already had six inches of rain. and as far as the path goes, landfall tonight about 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. that's when i expect the worst power outages that coincides with the high tides around new
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york city. connecticut has a high tide cycle about 11:00 p.m. to midnight when you'll see your worst flooding and the jersey shore between 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. looks like it's going to be a blow of historical proportions. you mentioned it and i'm trying not to forget about it, our friends in the mountains of virginia and north carolina, it is currently snowing, and it is blizzard conditions. we're expecting up to one to two feet of snow in these areas. and they still do have some leaves on the trees. so they're going to have mass power outages even there to deal with. so chuck, you pretty much get the picture here. it's multifaceted. we got through the first high tide cycle. now the winds will start to crank. >> all right. explain the merging of this storm. that, i feel like, has gotten lost over the past couple days and everybody's rightfully focused on sandy. but when it merges with this other low pressure, explain it. >> i asked the director to go over 334 to show the satellite imagery as i'm talking. what we're looking at is the
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center of the storm right there where you see these little thunderstorm -- or the bright yellows, that's the center of the storm. it's been over the gulf stream during the day today. it's amazing. it was supposed to be turning into a hybrid already. it's actually held on to its hurricane characteristics. but if you look at all the clouds over ohio, pennsylvania, virginia, that looks like the back half of a nor'easter. if i was in january or february, we've got the combination of those two. and that's why unbelievably, chuck, right now we're at 85-mile-per-hour winds. this may intensify this evening before it makes landfall. we could be talking about 90-mile-per-hour winds. >> wow. all right. bill karins who's going to be tracking it all day and night. bill, thanks very much. we'll be back often today. well, hurricane sandy is causing all sorts of problems with the campaign as well. there is just eight days till the election, folks. the president traveled to orlando late sunday for what was supposed to be an event this morning. but he's now skipping that event and immediately returning to washington. spokesman jay carney said this in a statement. quote, due to deteriorating weather conditions in the
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washington area, the president will return to the white house to monitor the preparations for an early response to sandy. the president previewed that decision last night when he stopped by a campaign office in orlando. >> i've got to get back to d.c. because the storm is sweeping into the mid-atlantic states and the northeast. and i know that everybody here in florida's familiar with storms. >> yes. >> you know, obviously, my first priority has to be to make sure that everything's in place to help families and prepare, which means that, you know, that's going to be putting a little bit more burden on folks in the field because i'm not going to be able to campaign quite as much over the next couple of days. >> the president is flexing the muscle of incumbency. he spent sunday afternoon at fema headquarters in washington. >> this is a serious and big storm. and my first message is to all the people across the eastern
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seaboard, mid-atlantic going north that you need to take this very seriously. >> governor romney canceled his weekend events in virginia. instead he spent sunday with running mate, paul ryan, on a bus tour through ohio. >> i know that right now some people in the country are a little nervous about a storm about to hit the coast. and our thoughts and prayers are with the people who will find themselves in harm's way. >> even before today's changes, the storm had already altered the campaign travel calendar, if you will. vice president biden cut short a new hampshire campaign swing. and instead diverted to ohio. >> the last thing the president and i want to do is let this campaign get in the way of anything. the most important thing is people's safety and people's health and property being saved here. >> the tuesday schedule is also in jeopardy. romney canceled a stop in new hampshire. the president canceled one in colorado. this morning fema director craig
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fugate said preparations are in place to respond to the storm. >> we've been getting ready for the last couple days. i guess the biggest question with sandy is exactly where and how much damages are we going to see. we've got teams basically all the way from down in north carolina where it was earlier impacting the outer banks all the way to maine. we have teams in states as far inland as west virginia. we've been moving generators. we've been moving basic supplies that we would need after the storm. so it's a large response area, but we also have a lot of good teams with the states. >> the storm is also a test for mayors and governors up and down the eastern seaboard who are warning those in evacuation areas not to wait. >> we have a plan to keep you and new yorkers safe. if you follow that plan, we'll get through this storm just fine. if you don't, people's lives are in danger. >> stay on the barrier islands for 36 hours of hurricane-force winds of 75 miles an hour or more sustained, not gusting, is
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stupid. so don't be stupid. get out. >> so what's the political fallout? can we expect from this october surprise? with eight days left, here's what we think we know. it's likely the race freezes in place. the question neither campaign is quite sure of, though, is who does that fully benefit? three quick takeaways on what i think to expect over the next few days. first, two battleground states may not see these candidates again before election day, virginia and new hampshire will be dealing with power outages and cleanups in the days ahead. no motorcades there, folks. that means both romney, who is in ohio and iowa today, and the president will probably end up spending more of their time in the midwest than they had planned with possible stops in colorado and florida. second, barring problems with federal disaster response, the president is likely to have a messaging advantage, if you will, as he gets to run are the government. he does run the government. he is the president. he simply has to do his job. by comparison in the next four days, hurricane sandy will replace mitt romney, does he have momentum or not story as
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the lead of nearly every swing state newspaper and newscast. the lead story will not be something that goes along like today, romney took his message of change to fill in the blank. and finally, the storm could put a premium on mechanics. and while the romney campaign is certainly a lot better than john mccain's 2008 operation, the more this race focuses on mechanics, the better it is probably for the obama campaign. asked whether the storm could affect early voting, the president said that remains to be seen. >> we don't anticipate that at this point, but we're obviously going to take a look. well, it's the october surprise. that we know. and the thing we don't know is what is exactly the impact going to be? we've got a lot of storm coverage to get to, and we'll get to that next. we'll go to point pleasant beach, new jersey. the storm is already kicking up serious waves there. we'll also head to florida. a state that knows storms well. that's where the president was supposed to be this morning
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opinion bmorning, but sandy forced a last-minute schedule change. debbie wassermann schultz will join us. plus, we've got a slew of new swing state polls. what's this about minnesota? what do those minnesota numbers really tell us about where and how this race is tightening. but first, we made a big deal of them before. here are the schedules today of both of them. the president, he'll be at the white house. mitt romney, he'll be in the midwest. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief.
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showing you live pictures, this is point pleasant beach, new jersey. we're going to get a report from
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there as soon as we get some communication links back up. we're also going to show you delaware. see if we can switch to that shot here. well, we've lost them. we're going to have those. here is a picture of rhode island as you can see there. this is the storm just starting to come ashore there. and here is the white house. and if you look closely, particularly focusing on the tree that has already turned -- where the leaves have turned red, you can see just how hard the rain is coming down. more rain will fall here in d.c., apparently, than in any of the spots. but we may be spared some of the winds. we shall see. anyway, the president is skipping this morning's event at the university of central florida in orlando, returning to washington to monitor the storm's progress while former president, bill clinton, does the event solo. early voting, by the way, opened on saturday in florida and with some waiting hours to cast ballots, but are the lines long enough for the democrats to overcome the republicans'
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absentee voter advantage in the state? think snowbirds. >> early voting started this weekend. i understand you guys blew it out when it came to early voting. whoever is able to get their voters out, you know, they're the ones who are going to win florida. we win florida, we win this election. >> i need you to vote early. i need you to get out and vote. we need to make sure that we win this one. it counts. >> florida congresswoman debbie wassermann schultz chairs the democratic national committee. she is sitting somewhere that is unfamiliar to me because you have sunlight behind you and blue skies. that is not something we have here on the east coast. >> right. >> let me just start with the president's decision. basically, does he regret even flying down to orlando last night? is that the takeaway we should have from him deciding this morning, you know what? forget the event. i'm going right back to washington? >> no. what president obama is doing, his first responsibility is to
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make sure that we can keep americans safe from harm and being in the white house and making sure that he, you know, confers with his homeland security officials, with craig fugate who's actually the former director of emergency management in florida. the fema director to make sure that we get the word out and coordinate, making sure that you preposition supplies that people are going to need in the after ma math of the storm. that's where the president should be. that's his number one priority right now. >> what kind of impact does it have not having the principal there? obviously, bill clinton is a draw, but i assume these events that you're doing in florida were all designed to get as many people there to go early vote. is that correct? and what kind of impact does it have not having the candidate? >> well, having president clinton at this event is going to ensure that this event is successful while president obama is able to be in washington and make sure he can coordinate the response and the preparation for
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folks who are in the path of the storm. and obviously, you know, i can tell you, chuck, being from a hurricane-prone state, we know that these storms have to be taken seriously. i would urge everybody to take the storm seriously, listen to evacuation orders if they're given and make sure that you have a three-day supply, which is what we tell everybody, 72-hour supply of what you're going to need in the aftermath of the storm, water and other provisions. but in terms of the actual event, whether president obama does or doesn't attend one event to make sure he's doing his job, protecting americans, that's the critical thing. you know, but look at our early voting totals in florida. i mean -- >> i want to bring them up. >> -- we already, for example, cut -- please, okay. i was just going to say, one event here or there, not a big deal. >> right. i want to bring up the graphic here. "the miami herald," florida division used some data from the florida divisions of elections. this is not from either of the campaigns. the combined absentee and early vote. 43% of the ballots appear to be
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republican. 41% appear to be democrats. and 16% independent. an overall advantage of 26,000 for the republicans. now, the early vote, i'm going to put up this graphic, shows you guys with a 14-point lead, nearly 40,000-vote advantage on early vote ballots cast, if you will, what it appears to be. >> that was as of saturday. >> on saturday. and then on the absentee front, republicans appear to have a 65,000-ballot advantage republicans over democrats. so everything appears to be yes, you're doing well, but so are they. >> well, no, they're actually not doing as well as they'd like to be because if you look at those numbers and those numbers are the result of just the first day of early voting, we actually equaled the turnout in early voting on sunday as well. and so we had already, in terms of cutting the republicans' typical absentee ballot advantage that they have, we had
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already cut it by 85% from 2008. we had -- they had a 5% advantage going in on absentee balloting on saturday with just the early -- the first day of early voting, we cut their advantage on absentee balloting by 1% to 1.5% and we probably eliminated it entirely with the second day of early voting yesterday. we've had record-breaking numbers all over the state. even, chuck, you know florida, even in lee county where they have a double-digit advantage in voter registration for republicans, we beat them in early voting. >> i want to show you a poll from "the tampa bay times" of the i-4 corridor, mitt romney leading 51%-45%. and that lead in the i-4 corridor, the swing area of the state, led the director of the mason-dixon poll to say this. romney has nailed down unless something changes. romney's going to win florida. and he made that prediction based on the math of the i-4 corridor. you guys, can you lose the i-4 corridor and win florida?
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it's nearly impossible, right? >> well, we're not going to lose the i-4 corridor, and we don't agree with those numbers. and if you look at the enthusiasm just reflected in the turnout in the i-4 corridor, we really -- we beat the republicans in early voting this weekend in hillsborough county, which is one end of the corridor. we beat them in orange county as well. and if you even look at seminole county, which also has a significant republican registration advantage, we beat them, just barely, but we beat them in early voting turnout. we're running up numbers that are going to ensure that president obama carries the i-4 corridor and carries the state of florida. i mean, we just have a ground game that is really superior to them. and we have enthusiasm that has blown the doors off of early voting, even better numbers than 2008. >> we will be watching. debbie wassermann schultz, member of congress from south florida and the chairwoman of the democratic committee. >> we will be voting. let me show you more live
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pictures here. we're monitoring it up and down the east coast. this is virginia beach where you see the waves kicking up. look at this. hard to imagine. that doesn't look like -- that doesn't look like something that's going to hold up there. we shall see. and here are those live pictures of delaware we were telling you about. it's tough sledding out there for us to get both video and sound up, which is why i'm able to check in with all of our correspondents the way we wanted to, but we will be checking it out. this is a great resource that is available to you to monitor hurricane sandy. go to our pals over at weather.com. they'll have the latest on the storm and potentially some life-saving information for you. if you lose power and still have internet service, weather.com will be streaming the weather channel live. well, hurricane sandy is taking aim at wall street as well, forcing the first unscheduled market shutdown in more than a decade. what it means for your money next in the "market rundown." plus we're taking a deep
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dive into battleground virginia where the presidential candidates may not be going to again before election day because of the storm. first, your trivia question. virginia currently has 13 electoral votes. what's the highest number of electoral votes virginia has ever had? bonus points if you can tell us when. tweet me. the answer and more is coming up on "the daily rundown." i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan,
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much more on hurricane sandy in a moment. but first, a few polls came out in the last 72 hours showing the gap between the president and mitt romney is narrowing in some states but not in the battleground. let's get right to it. "the washington post" poll of virginia has the president holding on to a slim but substantial, if you look at that 51%, four-point lead over romney. sitting there at 51%-47%. in ohio, two polls. first "the cincinnati inquirer"
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shows the race tied at 49-49. it should be noted, however, that a majority of this poll was conducted before the third debate. it does a fine poll, but at that point in time, both campaigns believed the race was tighter than it is now. now the romney campaign has another opinion about where the ohio race is today. cnn poll has ohio with the president leading by four points, essentially unchanged from earlier this month. that poll conducted all after the third debate. in minnesota, a new "star tribune" poll finds that nap narrowing, surprisingly, with the president holding just a three-point lead over romney. i'm going to explain this phenomenon in a minute. much more breathing room for the president in california. however, a usc poll shows the president up 14 points, 54% to romney's 40%. we're seeing a lot of lean blue or solid blue states is romney overperforming mccain's numbers
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all over the place. that is why this idea, the battlegrounds are not shifting, not moving. we are seeing the movement in romney's direction in the nonbattleground states. what does that mean? well, that's why so many people believe that there is a possibility for that split between the popular vote and the battlegrounds. it's a possibility, frankly, though, it is not a probability. all right, hurricane sandy is forcing wall street to shut down today. the first time in 27 years that the new york stock exchange has been closed due to weather. cnbc's becky quick is here for "the market rundown." it's kind of surprising. did that happen because they shut down the subway and public transportation? >> you know, that was the first of many stages that went through it. wall street is down very close to zone "a," which has been a mandatory evacuation area. it is not in zone "a," but there was concern they couldn't get people there to the floor. that's why the nyse said that. then the nasdaq said they would not be doing electronic trade
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because it required people to get to different trading floors to make sure there was enough liquidity. the markets are definitely closed today and likely tomorrow. the head of the nyse says worst-case scenario, they will be back open on monday morning. now, obviously weather will have a lot to do with that. chuck, we have seen futures this morning trading. they were trading until just about 15 minutes ago. this was the electronic trade through the cme, and this is just for the dow futures, nasdaq futures, s&p futures. what we saw in that trading was that the dow futures closed down by about 47 points. now, we don't know abowhen trad will open again. there are still talks going on at the cme. typically you'll see futures reopen at 6:00 p.m. tonight. don't know if that's going to happen. this is anybody's guess as to the next time we see these things trading. interestingly enough, we are watching oil continue to trade, any of the commodities, energy commodities and the soft commodities, that's happening electronically. we have seen oil prices down slightly today. you have seen gasoline prices
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up, and that's because of the concern of what happens to the refineries in the path of this storm. the refineries that are in the path of the storm probably account for about 7% of all the refineries around the nation. and that's why people are very concerned about when you'll be seeing a shutdown of those potentially and for how long. that's why gas prices have been higher. chuck, back over to you. >> becky quick, thanks very much. it was hurricane gloria in 1985, the last time wall street was shut down on its own for a weather event. next up, we'll be live in delaware where the wrath of the storm is beginning to be felt. "the dally rundown" will be back in 30 seconds.
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the leading edge of hurricane sandy is lashing the mid-atlantic right now. but for millions, the worst of this storm is yet to come. let's get the latest from nbc's thanh truong live in delaware where residents are pretty much cleared out. thanh, what are you seeing? what are you feeling? >> reporter: take a look behind me, chuck. this is high tide now. high tide started around 7:55 this morning. and this is what we've been talking about through the past couple of days. this combination of storm surge and high tide. this is going to bring a lot of the ocean basically up into this area. take a look at what it's done to this fence here. this is just a precursor of what we're going to see. we will get somewhat of a reprieve this afternoon because low tide will hit around 2:00. then 8:00 is the next high tide. but the bad news is, is that that's going to coincide with the timing of the storm as it comes ashore in the delmarva area as well. you mentioned at the top that residents have been out of here,
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50,000 residents in the coastal areas of delaware have been evacuated. that's because of a mandatory evacuation order from the governor. one of our crews went just south of here near dewey beach, and he's reporting he's seeing that a lot of the water is actually coming above the boardwalk and coming and approaching homes as well. there's a lot of utility workers, roughly 2,000 regional utility workers, that are on standby as we get hit with this water, as you can see, chuck. this is going to be all day here. utility workers are on standby because they're anticipating that the power outages will be widespread. so those that haven't evacuated, they'll have to hunker down. it's going to be a couple miserable nights here in the power does go out. chuck, back to you. >> thanh truong in delaware. now i want to move over to the weather channel's mike seidel. he's in point pleasant, new jersey, where this thing could be the highest impact, the biggest storm surge. mike, explain the fears of the storm surge there in new jersey and along the jersey shore.
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>> reporter: well, the fear is it's obviously going to be worse than irene because this storm is tracking to our south. it's going to go inland south of here. so that's going to pile the water up from now, from yesterday through today into tonight. and until the storm goes by us and gets past us on our longitude, then the winds will come back around. and that will be an offshore component of the wind. but that's not going to happen until sometime tomorrow. so in the meantime, the tide right now is trying to go out. it's not having much luck because the wind is blowing in from the northeast at 30 to 35 miles an hour. we're getting some gusts 45 miles an hour. but the worst of the storm is a long way away. we're still more than 40 # 0 miles away. when it comes in, as it gets closer, we'll have gusts as high as hurricane force. once those winds kick up over 60, you'll see the power outages ramping up exponentially. again, the high tide tonight, 8:00 to 8:30 up and down the shore. and that could be coincidental
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with the landfall, plus we have the full moon, the astronomical effect. and if you have an eight-foot surge, on top of that you have the waves. we've got eight to ten, maybe 12-footers out here. so you get the sense of how bad the water's going to be. and just the pure power of those waves. it only takes, what, about a foot of water to float a car. look at that angry atlantic coming right in here. i think the water's going to reach this dune line. it's going to be a rearrangement of this coastline here over the next day or so. >> certainly looks like it. mike seidel, let's get you out of that path right now. thank you, mike. we'll be monitoring it all day long, as we told you. let's get into a little bit of politics. on election day in virginia, the president will need to tap into a group that helped him in 2008 but is seemingly slip ago way from him in 2012. we're going to take a deep dive into the independent vote in virginia and nationwide. first let's take you back to 2000. that year george w. bush won independents 47-45. and independents made up a
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little more than a quarter of the electorate that year. in 2004, john kerry essentially split them with president bush, 49-48 with the independent share still only one out of every four voters. by 2008, independents accounted for nearly a third, 29%, and they broke significantly for president obama. he beat john mccain among them 52-44%. but the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll finds romney leading nationally by six points. why is that important in virginia? according to the new "washington post" poll, 36% of virginia voters now say they are independent, more than democrats, more than republicans. that's the largest voting bloc. let's look at the 2008 map to see where the president did well and where he needs to overperform this time. if you look here, i'm going to circle our little blue counties here. i'm going to show you where the places here, and i switch over to the 2004, you'll see all this blue disappear in the areas that i just circled.
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and when you look, you see where a large chunk of the independents live. in the norfolk area, in the northern neck, and in the outer suburbs of washington, d.c. you see what remained blue and what didn't. i'll show it to you again. watch our little maps, and the blue color, you see from the northern neck to norfolk, that's where these independents live. so for the president to win virginia, he'll have to maximize a get out the vote effort and try to regain ground with independents that live in those key areas. dave is a longtime political strategist who helped democrats like jim webb and mark warner win in virginia back when we thought virginia was a red state. you are trying to figure that out in and out. what is virginia? >> virginia is still pretty much a red state. a lot of people say purple. but if you look at the makeup of the general assembly and what's going on in local -- >> still easier to be a local republican, you think, and get elected than being a local democrat? >> well, of course, it depends on the state.
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i mean, if you're in northern virginia, it's hard to find a republican. if you get down where i live, it's hard to find a democrat with a search warrant. it's the tale of two states, as you're aware, chuck. >> but it's also culture. and i want to say something, a man you're close friends with, jim webb, in an exit interview i did with him, we talked about the specific issue that he thinks president obama is having. and if he weren't having it, this election would be over. here's what he told me. >> i will tell you, i said that directly to the president about two weeks ago. you know, how in the name of the lord can the democratic party, the party of andrew jackson, only be getting 28% of the white male working-class vote? >> what do you say to this? is this all culture? >> from my perspective, it's that because of the interest group politics in the democratic party, that particular cultural group doesn't believe the democrats like them. and i've been saying that for six years.
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you need to be more fair, do away with interest group politics, take care of working people, and that includes small business owners as well. they are the modern equivalent of the people that andrew jackson was talking about all those years ago. >> i know you probably will just sit there and say amen to what senator webb said. >> i'll say amen twice. >> yeah. i mean, if the president loses virginia, is that a big explanation that it's too microtargeted? he's so worried about got to get out the vote with african-americans in hampton roads, got to make sure to run the gender gap ads in northern virginia. has it been too microtargeted to death? >> my friend mike murphy who i consider the smartest republican strategist in america, he told me one time, he said, mudcat, your party goes after class. we go after culture, and culture wins every time. you know, that's a fact of it. i mean, we have -- and the
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democrats, for instance, in a race that i'm working in this time, wayne powell against eric cantor. >> seventh district just outside of richmond. >> right. there's been no national emphasis on this. it's because the democrats, you know, they believe it's the south. it's painted red. >> you think the national party just writes you off. >> the national party does write us off. if you take a state like mississippi, for instance, there's no reason democrats aren't battled in mississippi. we get to 47% to 48% without doing anything. that means if you poll one out of six or seven white males, you win the election, but they're not fighting there. and i think that's what jim webb is saying. we have to come with a more general message that gives a little credit to the culture and a little respect to the culture. >> and yet, you were just previewing an ad for me that you're hitting eric cantor with, and it's on abortion. and abortion's always been one of these trickier things. it's effective politics in virginia. doug wilder became governor because of it, some would argue.
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but does that make it talking to white males -- >> you've got to remember the district we ran. you know, in richmond last year, they went for the transvaginal ultrasounds and all this craziness. with the seventh district, our exit poll says it's now 68%. you know, eric cantor is one of these guys who talks about, you know, government intrusion and how we don't need government intrusion. but yet, you know, he has been with todd akin on 32 different bills pushing this government intrusion into women's individual rights. >> i want to go back and close with a thought that we opened with, independents. can you win virginia and lose independents if you're a democrat? is there enough of this democratic get out the vote machine that you were touting to me off camera to overcome losing independents even narrowly? >> you know, without question. and there's something else at work here in virginia that people don't talk about. i mean, you're aware of this. i mean, the guest tv guy ever in the history of the commonwealth is mike henry.
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and he's over there working with tim kaine. and i can promise you, they are out there. and you've got a double gatv effort going on between obama and kaine. and i think we will prevail. >> it's going to be a nail-biter. we'll be watching your race. good to see you. sorry about those hokies. as good as the hurricanes. i guess we play next week and see how that works out. with all eyes on hurricane sandy, we've got a super-sized panel here to break down the storm's impact on the presidential race. first, of course, give you a little hint because you're going to be asking for it, "soup of the day," it's a good day for soup while you're waiting for a storm and while you still have power. tomato basil. you're looking at live pictures right now here in rhode island. again, this storm is going to impact from here, as you saw from as far south as virginia beach, all the way up rhode island, connecticut, parts of maine. already you see the water breaching that flood wall. we'll be right back. ew day. if you're a man with low testosterone, you should know that axiron is here.
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well, that's the image from space. nasa image of hurricane sandy as seen from up there. the storm stretches about 900 miles across the atlantic. well, we've talked about the possibility of recounts, contested ballots, even the chance of an electoral college tie. but of all the things that could impact the election, i don't think we knew that its name would be sandy. well, the messy weather also make messy politics, messy election day, let's bring in our super panel for the week. we're kicking it off with dee dee myers, republican admaker kim alfano and clarence page, columnist for "the chicago tribune." he gets to be in the jump seat there. so clarence, i'm going to start with you. this is our october surprise. do you have a feeling either way about what does this mean for the campaign eight days from now?
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>> i think this will obviously put a lot of attention on president obama to see how he responds to it. that's the main thing. we expect presidents to be able to take care of managerial tasks like this. we saw what kind of an impact the fema letdown had after hurricane katrina and during the hurricane. and that's going to be the big angle, i think. otherwise we all guess as to how it affects turnout for elections. and that can go either way. >> you know, dana, it seems as if the white house by the president going back this morning before doing that event in orlando, it's an acknowledgment of they made a mistake going down last night. it seemed like a good idea probably friday when they decided to do that, get down a little bit early, maybe they get something in, and then now wait a minute, woke up this morning, what are we doing here? >> it's one of those things, chuck, when you get to the moment of the crisis, it's obvious what you need to do. when you're planning ahead, the campaign people obviously want to squeeze one more event in before they know he has to come
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back to washington. it was a mistake. it's probably not going to hurt him in any significant way. it reinforces what clarence said, that the focus will be for the next several days on the president much more than governor romney. >> kim, governor romney does not have a full-time job right now. the president does. what do you do? i mean, you're here. you overcampaign, you could look crass and out of touch. this is, i would say, a trickier situation. the president's got something to do. mitt romney does not. >> you campaign sensitively. i don't think you give up the days. i think you campaign sensitively. i think he's caught the right tone on the campaign trail. you know, this is going to impact greatly, in ohio and some of those states out there, you can keep an eye on what's going on with the hurricane, make sure that there's no great loss of life. i mean, so far, thank god, there's not been any incredible loss of life or drama like there was with katrina. i don't think this is going to be quite that dramatic a storm, and i don't think you hang up your cleats and just watch.
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i think you do what you've got to do. but you just be sensitive to it. >> dee dee, you were on bill clinton's campaign during hurricane andrew, and you were in that awkward position where you're running against a guy that runs the government. you guys are the outsiders. you probably were tempted to criticize, but you realized there was a line. what is the line? >> well, and i think this is one that obviously governor romney faces right now, which is the one thing you don't want to do is be attacking the president while he's trying to manage a national crisis. we have a number of states that have already asked for a declaration of emergency. so we have to be careful. what governor clinton did in 1992 was after things had moved far enough that it wasn't in the midst of the disaster, went down to see how people were doing. and that ended up being an effective way to look at the devastation on the ground, talk to people, see how they were responding and recovering. and it ended up being an effective tactic, but there isn't much time in the aftermath of this storm. >> to do any of that.
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>> right. and perceptions do sometimes take a while to build. people are still digging out in the middle of the storm. katrina took months. >> or worse, clarence, sometimes how somebody handles something can look outsized in the first 48 hours either positively or negative negative, and then it can change. a week later we have an election. so the immediate impact is going to be everything. the immediate sort of reaction by the public is going to have an outsized impact, is it not? >> that's right. there's always a lot of second-guessing afterwards, too, for whatever did go wrong. can that become an issue? as with with katrina, the question wasn't why didn't help arrive sooner? why didn't the president show more concern earlier? you couldn't really read that while it was going on, but afterwards people got hard opinions. >> what we do know is virginia and new hampshire will not see these candidates probably for the next week. what that means only springfield
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knows, right? there's something happening out here. what's happening ain't exactly clear. i'll take a quick break. what's the highest number of electoral votes virginia has ever had? the answer? did you know, dan? 25. for bonus points virginia had those 25 for madison's re-election in 1812 through monroe's second election in 1820. anyway, we will leave you right now for break. these are pictures of point pleasant, new jersey. not looking so pleasant right now. we'll be right back. r boost, me. it's swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth to add delicious flavor to your skillet dish in just one stir. mmm! [ female announcer ] cook, meet compliments. get recipes at flavorboost.com.
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from the white house. dee dee myers, they already canceled colorado but kept green bay open. now the president's all of tuesday now spent in washington. there is sort of on one hand the president is commander in chief. on the other hand he can't campaign at all. >> right. the one thing that's good is that he -- it's he clear what he has to do, right?
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it's surprised they waited this long to cancel green bay, because tuesday the storm is still in full force, particularly up the coast in new england. we don't know what's going to happen, but the president needs to be here on site ready to handle whatever crisis might evolve. at least what he has to do now is clear, but it means he's off the trail. the effect of that is completely unclear. >> kim, you work in a lot of races. i want to change subjects here. i feel like we see where romney has momentum is not in the battleground states as much. we see it in the outside states. we see polls tightening from california being 25 points but 14. minnesota is 10 but 3 to 5. does it lead you to believe we can see a popular vote/electoral vote split? >> it's possible. in the battleground states where there's sort of an indicator in the battleground states is that the independents, the likely independents, we have seen leads there. you have seen romney doing well among the ones that you needs to do well in.
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he's closing the gap among women. he's working the cross tabs and doing the things he need to do where he needs to do them. yeah, we have some hope in some of those key battleground states. >> it's interesting you see it more in the non-battleground than in the battleground states. >> you do. in the end the battlegrounds will begin to conform to the national. that's generally what we've seen in races, and it looks like that may happen this time. >> clarence, shameless plugs, i start with you. >> i have to plug "argo." it helped me to appreciate the tough decisions that had to be made at a place like benghazi and that kind of crisis. i plug it awaaway. >> fair enough. dee dee, go. >> i'm thinking of all the disaster workers out there from fema to the red cross and all the volunteers trying to keep people safe. >> kim. >> pray for them. fannie mae helped the homeless walk, hdh walk go there.
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>> i echo what dee dee said about all the people on the front lines. >> fema great to my family when they needed it back in the 2004 storms. that's it for this edition for the latest on hurricane sandy. be safe. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. go ahead, mark your calendars. that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy it's the last day you can switch your medicare part d plan. we're ready, and we can't wait to switch. what i wanted was simple: the most value for my dollar. so, now that it's time, we're making the move to a plan that really works for us. [ male announcer ] make the switch to an aarp medicarerx plan, insured through unitedhealthcare. open enrollment starts october 15th and ends december 7th. call now for a free information kit.
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